Most commonly, in a trump contract, we accumulate extra tricks by getting a ruff or two in the short hand. However, we "reverse the dummy" when we go for extra tricks by ruffing in the long hand. For example, in a 5-3 fit we might be able to count 5 trump tricks plus a ruff in the short hand for a total of 6. Or, by "reversing the dummy", we might get to 6 by counting 3 ruffs in the long hand plus 3 trump tricks in the short hand. Those ruffs in the long hand must be taken early in the play, before drawing trumps.
Related Play Problems Play Problem 267
Related Extracts from Past Wednesday Games
How does 2♠ play? Itís down one if North finds the improbable Heart lead, but a Club lead seems more likely and now Declarer has a fighting chance! Hereís one way to scramble 8 tricks:
Club lead won in Dummy
Another Club is cashed, Declarer pitching a Heart
Heart conceded to Southís Jack
Another Heart is conceded
Another Club ruff
Spade finesse, South winning her Ace
Spade return, won in Dummy
♦A is cashed
Thatís seven tricks, and Dummyís Spade winner is the 8th. There are many variations on this theme, the basic plan being to get three ruffs in Declarerís hand (a Dummy reversal in other words). If the defense tries to thwart this plan by leading trumps then Declarer gets his 8th trick via the 13th Diamond.
It turns out that Eastís decision to double 1♦ worked out badly. If he had balanced with 1♠, West would have been aware of the 8-card fit, and might well have competed to 3♠. That is a fine contract, scoring 9 or 10 tricks. It will be 9 tricks if South starts out with Hearts, but 10 tricks if she starts with a high Diamond, allowing East to execute this neat little Dummy reversal:
A♦ ruffed by Declarer
Cross to Dummyís J♣
Draw the last trump
Cash the Clubs
Thatís 10 tricks for Declarer, with the defense taking the last three.
Reaching 4♠ looks routine enough, and the question is ďHow many tricks can you make after an opening Club lead?Ē Assuming a 3-2 trump break, Declarer can count 4 natural trump tricks and 6 side-suit tricks. Thatís 10 tricks and Declarer can get the total up to 11 by taking a Club ruff in Dummy. It wonít help to try for 12 by getting a second Club ruff, that will only promote a second trump trick for the defense. Does that mean that 11 tricks is the limit? Not at all! What is needed here is a Dummy Reversal. Instead of ruffing two Clubs in Dummy, Declarer will plan to ruff Diamonds in hand, setting up a long Diamond in the process. The play goes as follows:
Opening Club lead won by the Ace
Cash the three Hearts
Cross to the ♠A
Cross to the ♠K
Cross to the ♣K
Now Declarer ruffs another Diamond. West can over-ruff this, in which case Dummy takes the last two tricks with the last trump and the long Diamond Ö or West declines to ruff (pitching a Club), in which case Dummy scores the Spade Four en passant by leading a Club. Either way, itís a lovely 12 tricks!
Westís 2NT was Jordan, showing a 4-card raise with at least invitational values.
The final contract is quite poor indeed, and itís possible that Declarer might be down a whopping 3 tricks if she misguesses Clubs, and down 2 otherwise. However, with careful play she can do a trick better than that. The extra trick can achieved by reversing the Dummy, as follows:
K♦ lead ducked
Diamond continuation won by the Ace
Heart to the King getting the bad news
Club from the board, letís say it is misguessed
Club returned to Northís Ace
Heart to the Ace, and the J♥ cashed
Spade to Ace
This line gives Declarer 8 tricks even with the Club misguess. It may not seem like much of a triumph but it might well be worth almost average!
One route to 10 tricks is via a Dummy Reversal:
Spade lead won by Declarerís Ace
Diamond won by South
Heart shift won by Declarerís Eight
A♦ and ruff a Diamond
A♣, K♣, and ruff a Club
Cross to the K♠
Ruff another Club
Declarer now has 9 tricks in the bag with the A♥ to come. Could North have messed things up by playing the Q♦ at Trick Two? No, Declarer wins this and plays a Diamond which South is forced to win, and the same 10 tricks materialize. It takes an opening lead of Northís singleton Heart to beat the contract.
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